Sunday, July 17, 2011

Managing Our Household with a Few New Tools

Guest Post: Laney at The Barretts' Blog

   Well, my favorite hobby, and stress-reliever I think too, is organizing. It allows me to feel "in control" of whatever I am working to organize at the time. I'm constantly organizing something, and it makes me feel really good and really productive.

   There's nothing else that I feel I can organize at work with my lesson plans- I've got that almost down to a science. Yay, me for keeping it up! Our house is pretty organized also since I'm constantly organizing some area of our home in my free time. It also helps that we have more room here to work with so our kitchen table can actually be used for eating instead of eating, homework, paying bills, lesson plans, art projects, meal planning, and everything else you could possibly use a table for. We now have a functional office space, an organized kitchen, living room, utility room, bedroom, and bathroom. So, for the most part, everything is organized. (Just don't look it my car or purse- I allow those two things to remain chaotic.)

   So what else could I do? With every space around me completely organized, why was my house so messy when I came home each day? I'll let you in on a little secret and give you my confession...

   With a physically demanding job (chasing 3 year olds for 8 hours a day), I would spend my time doing nothing important- which to me is un-productive - or organizing that space that's now finished. I would not spend hardly any of it actually cleaning our house. Yes, I would let the dust bunnies throw parties & invite friends to the floors beneath our couch in the living room. The laundry was a never-ending cycle that never EVER got caught up. The pile of dirty dishes in the sink could probably have set a new record for the tallest sky scraper in the country. But probably the yuckiest thing was the inside of the microwave which was supposed to be white in color. Instead, it was yellowish, orange caked-on food particles - really gross!

   I'm really hoping at this point that you keep reading so I can at least tell you the good part, the part that lets you know I'm really not "that" kind of wife & home maker. I want you to know that I really do want my house to be clean and inviting. It's really important to me actually. In fact, I'm hoping there's at least one point that you could maybe relate to... maybe?

   Okay, so the last paragraph or two just goes to show that you can have every space organized - every nook & cranny. Being organized doesn't mean everything is always clean. It is possible to be organized (every object has a home), and still have a mess.

   So, now (finally!!) I've learned what I've gotta have, and it's "Time" Management & a Plan for actually cleaning my house. I actually didn't think of this on my own. I very seldom think about organizing my time, but I happened to stumble upon an article from one of my favorite blogs, Money Saving Mom. She had written an article to answer a question from a reader about managing her home & kids while being a stay-at-home mom who home schools. She shared her Household Management Forms that she uses to keep herself on task throughout the day and keep her house in order.

   I've, since then, customized her forms to fit the needs of our home and our family. I've found them to be quite helpful. Just by spending less time in the mornings "piddling" as I call it (taking my sweet, precious time), I've found that I can actually be really productive and get lots of  things done. It's an amazing feeling. It's also really nice to come home to an empty sink and home that is pretty darn tidy.

   I've taken advantage of a few tips that I'd like to share as well...
  *Add "Relax" to my To-Do List - It's really hard for me to relax if there's still things left to do. I can't cross
     this off my list if I don't get to it, so I just had to add it to the list. So far, it works!
  *5-Minute Clean Up - Instead of fretting over every single little thing that's not in order or where it should
      be, I'll just set a kitchen timer and put things away for 5 minutes. It's really productive!

   It also really helps to have a husband who (although not a list-maker), can be a BIG help in getting things done around the house. Often, I will come home to the laundry already completely done or all the dishes washed. Today, he mentioned adding something to his list... then quickly added "the list in my head". He has a list too- I just can't see his.

Happy Home Managing to You Too!

No comments:

Post a Comment